"THIS FAMOUS ACCOUNT OF THE TOUR HOBHOUSE MADE WITH BYRON": HOBHOUSE'S JOURNEY THROUGH ALBANIA, 1813 FIRST EDITION, WITH FOLDING MAPS AND 17 BEAUTIFUL HAND-COLORED AQUATINT PLATES
(ALBANIA) (GREECE) (TURKEY) HOBHOUSE, John Cam. A Journey Through Albania and Other Provinces of Turkey in Europe and Asia. London: Printed for James Cawthorn, 1813. Thick quarto, contemporary three-quarter calf neatly rebacked, marbled boards. $9500.
First edition of Hobhouse's classic account of his travels through Albania and Turkey with his close friend, Lord Byron. Illustrated with two folding maps, 17 splendid hand-colored aquatint plates (including seven double-page views of Athens, the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Constantinople, the Seraglio, etc., and seven costume plates heightened in gold), engraved frontispiece, one engraved plan, two plates of facsimile letters and two plates of Greek music.
"This famous account of the tour Hobhouse made with Byron in 1809 and 1810 is an important source for that period of the latter's life as well for the intellectual movement prior to the outbreak of the Greek insurrection. On his return, Hobhouse embarked on a long political career and maintained his association with Byron, traveling with him in Italy and providing the notes for the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold. He became a member of the London Greek Committee in 1823" (Blackmer). "This work is of great interest not only for the light it sheds on that journey, but for the mass of information Hobhouse provides, in particular on the court and character of Ali Pasha" (Atabey). The trip cemented the friendship between Hobhouse and Byron; Hobhouse served as Byron's best man, and eventually as his executor.
The 17 spectacular hand-colored aquatint plates include costume plates heightened in gold or silver and superb double-page views of Athens, the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Constantinople, and the Gate of the Seraglio. "Some of the interesting plates of the Athenian monuments in this work were commissioned by Byron from the artist Jacob Lynckh, later involved in the excavations at Aegina with the architect Charles Cockerell, who also produced drawings for Hobhouse's work" (Atabey). Also issued in 1813 in two quarto volumes. Bound with "Directions to the Binder" leaf at rear. Abbey, Travel 202. Blackmer 821. Atabey 584. Bookplate of Francis Hugo Lindley Meynell, founder of the Nonesuch Press.
Folding maps lightly foxed, occasional faint dampstaining and mild foxing to first and final few leaves, including the frontispiece, engraved facsimiles and music; the worst of which has been gently and expertly cleaned. Text and plates otherwise quite clean, hand-coloring vivid. Light rubbing to corners and board edges. A very good wide-margined copy in nicely rebacked contemporary marbled boards.